What does success look like for you today? How has your definition of success been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic? Have you changed your expectation of success based on the world you’re currently living in? In this special episode of the Sales Reinvented podcast, you’ll hear the first-ever podcast episode exchange. Christie Walters-Herbert and Jeff Bajorek from “The Why and The Buy” podcast reminisce on 2020. They talk about how to change your definition of success and why you would want to in 2021. Don’t miss it!
What does success look like now? Jeff points out that you must ask yourself this question not only to see new opportunities—but to give yourself some relief. In times of uncertainty, you can’t cling to your previous goals because it may not be fair. But it’s also hard to commit to a new goal. When you know the old one isn’t good enough anymore but can’t commit to a new one, you’re in limbo. You can’t hit a target you can’t see.
Jeff’s spent a lot of time thinking about this question. Is success being able to keep his business open? Is it growing the business? Is it being proud of the work that he’s doing? These questions aren’t necessarily tied to monetary goals but they are guideposts. Have you given yourself permission to determine what your guideposts are?
Christie emphasizes that you can’t try to replicate someone else’s success. If you are, you’re going about it the wrong way. You can’t get motivated based on someone else's motivation. You can’t structure a business based on someone else’s structure. You’re not wired the same way as someone else—why base your success on them? You can still gain insight from someone else’s perspective on success and what helps them focus. But you have to define what success looks like for you, which begins by becoming clear on what you want.
For Christie, success looks like doing the right things in her business day in and day out. She’s coaching people to have these conversations with her customers. Personally, it’s about making sure her health is in the right place in case she did catch something. It’s about conversations with her loved ones that are about the life she wants to create.
Are you proud of the work you’re doing? Are you proud of where you are right now? Are you proud of what you’ve done? That gives you the context for what you believe success is in life. If you set out to accomplish something and you do, you should be proud. But if you don’t have a clear definition of success, it’s hard to be proud because you don’t have a measuring stick. If you don’t have a definition for “when,” how do you know you haven’t already achieved it?
Some people find it difficult to be satisfied or happy with any point that they’ve reached in their life. Some people downplay what they’ve accomplished. They think they should’ve accomplished more. It’s all because of the story you tell yourself. On paper, everything looks great. You’ve accomplished a lot. But because you weren’t clear on what was enough, you may not feel successful.
Is it necessary to spend another night working? Or could you take that time and spend it with your family? Because in reality, you’ve accomplished a tremendous amount and it’s not going to fall apart because you put your attention on a different portion of your life that is just as important. That’s a struggle that a lot of people have.
Many people are unemployed or underemployed trying to find their next step. There’s so much weight that comes when you feel like you’re not living up to your potential. It’s why you need to understand what is important right now. If you take a job that’s less than what your level of success would demand under normal circumstances, define what your success is. Are you providing for your family? Are you keeping your skills sharp until the right job opens up? Does the job provide you connections?
Ask yourself these three questions: Where are you going? What’s the ultimate objective and goal? What does that translate into for success today? You must adjust your perspective. If you cannot define success, you cannot achieve it. Spend your time reframing those concepts and things will become clear.
If you’re willing, share them with us. We may just share a book and some swag with you!
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Jeff Bajorek believes that prospecting is so much more of the sales process than people give it credit for. He emphasizes that “Prospecting is understanding your message from the get-go. Prospecting is creating tension. Prospecting is demonstrating your expertise.” Success with prospecting relies completely on being someone worth talking to with something worth talking about. Listen to this episode of Sales Reinvented to hear Jeff share his thoughts on the prospecting and lead generation process.
Jeff Bajorek is a consultant, coach, author, and podcast host. He helps sales teams perform better by helping them to rethink the way they sell. Jeff’s latest book, “Rethink the Way You Sell: When It Goes Sideways” was written during the Coronavirus pandemic, intending to remind salespeople of what’s important. Success with prospecting relies completely on being someone worth talking to with something worth talking about.
Jeff points out that if you don’t have any pipeline, it changes everything else that you do in the sales process. When there are fewer deals to be worked, every deal becomes exponentially more important. When you feel like they’re more important than they need to be, you make bad decisions. You give away value when you don’t need to.
Jeff also points out that it’s more productive to sell when you can do the right things for the right reason. What if you could be the same person all the time? Jeff made more sales when he wasn’t pushing to reach his goals. He was a different person towards the end of every month and every year. He wanted to keep being that person. Pipeline gives you the sense of security that you need and allows you to be who you want to be as a salesperson. You can negotiate harder when you have a solid pipeline.
Jeff’s gut reaction is that you can't describe the ideal process because there isn’t one that applies to everyone. Too many salespeople are looking to paint by numbers and you just can’t do it. When you start with the solution to the problem in mind and work backward with the most effective way for you to do prospect, you get more creative. You take more risks and have more fun. When you get too tied up in “this is how this has to be done” it leads to poorer results. Jeff emphasizes that if you spend less time worrying about doing it the right way, you’d spend more time doing it effectively.
Jeff notes that you have to be willing to think on your feet and ask questions you don’t know the answer to. It encourages a collaborative environment where you can answer questions together. You can’t be truly curious if you’re not willing to be wrong. So leave your assumptions at the door. Don’t bully your prospect around by asking questions they don’t know the answer to—but you do. When you are manipulating your prospect with questions, they will know it.
Sellers could also learn to be more empathetic. Put yourself in your prospect’s shoes and appreciate your own messaging from their point of view. How would you feel receiving that email or being asked that question? It’s why you need to have your messaging down. Is curiosity built into your questions? Does it relate to the solution? Are you being empathetic? Is everything tailored to the person you’re talking to?
When you’re confident in the story you’re telling and the way you solve problems, you feel confident. Jeff calls it swagger. You know you’re putting your best work out there every day. You know you’re doing the work you need to do to generate results regardless of when that is. Context and perspective are often missed. What are you trying to accomplish and how are you getting your message across?
Jeff feels—because he runs his own business and he’s a very opinionated person—that he’s held to a higher standard. He often feels judged for how he does things. He gets several people referred to him regularly and always has leads in his pipeline. He doesn’t work the phones often. He doesn’t have an email sequence ready to go. He found himself feeling guilt for not having the perfect lead generation sequences in place. But he’s already effective. He pointed out that he got so tied up in doing things “the right way”, that he forgot that the work was being done.
There are top performers out there who are insecure about the way they’re performing. If your business is growing and you’re outperforming your peers, remember: the problem you’re trying to solve is more important than the way you solve it. The solution is paramount. Are you solving the problems? Jeff points out that at the end of the day an opportunity is an opportunity. Don’t focus too much on how you accomplished it. Instead, recognize what you’re doing well.
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